"He's our coach on the field – our leader," Southern head coach Darius Robinson said. "As he goes, we go. He's a leader in the classroom, he's a leader in the hallways, [and] a leader in the community, because he's a high character kid. He's a very explosive kid [who is] very athletic."
Midway through his freshman season, Hinton was promoted to varsity.
As a sophomore – his first full season as Southern's fulltime starter – Hinton passed for 2,481 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for 300 yards.
This past season Hinton led Southern to a 14-2 record and NCHSAA 3AA Championship. In the title game, Hinton helped orchestrate a come-from-behind victory with 332 yards and four touchdowns through the air. On the season, he completed 219-of-339 passes for 3,972 yards and 39 touchdowns with just five interceptions. He also led the team with 1,183 yards and 13 touchdowns on 95 carries.
Duke offered Hinton a scholarship during his sophomore year. East Carolina and NC State soon followed suit. According to Robinson, Wake Forest is close to offering also and UNC is showing significant interest.
Robinson said that schools are recruiting Kendall as a quarterback only. That was, however, before UNC received a commitment from Charlotte quarterback Anthony Ratliff this week.
"Because he's athletic, people might look at him as an ‘athlete,'" Robinson said. "Every time someone asks me that question, I just tell them that he just wants to be a quarterback and he's capable of playing that position."
Hinton estimates that he has visited UNC three times. Two of those visits were for football games, including "Zero Dark Thursday" against Miami.
"I loved the atmosphere and the fans," Hinton said. "I got to see what sort of atmosphere I could play in."
Hinton return to UNC in January for the Tar Heels' Junior Day, which included the basketball game against NC State.
"Carolina basketball is big time basketball," Hinton said. "I enjoyed being able to take a visit to a game like that."
Since UNC was in the process of filling it's quarterback coach vacancy – which has since been filled by Keith Heckendorf – he was unable to meet with a Carolina QB coach.
Since Heckendorf was hired, he and Hinton have been in communication. Heckendorf invited Hinton to attend one of UNC's summer camps.
Most of Hinton's communication with UNC, though, has been through first Randy Jordan and then Larry Porter. Porter replaced Jordan as UNC's running backs coach and also took over recruiting Durham for UNC.
Besides UNC, Hinton has visited Duke, East Carolina, and NC State.
Hinton is also a big part of Southern's basketball team, averaging 12 points per game… Growing up in Durham, Hinton is a Duke fan…. Hinton's uncle's brother, David Garrard, also was a star quarterback at Southern before playing at East Carolina. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002 and is still an active player, but is currently a free agent… Hinton's father, Kevin, played basketball at Johnson C. Smith.